Just me and the boys

My pacing partner from last fall gave me the go ahead to  join the course run.

My pacing partner from last fall gave me the go ahead to join the course run.

You all know I run with a fabulous pack of ladies on a regular basis. Yes, we “let” some boys into our group, but for the most part, this female runner is used to female company. So it was quite the different experience for me last Saturday when I turned out to be the only female on my long run.

The all women’s IronGirl half marathon is taking place here in town at the end of the month and I’m considering running it. I could easily drive the course, but wanted to run it once to check it out on foot if I got the chance. I learned that a group of pacers was heading out to run the course on Saturday and asked if I could tag along. I knew the lead pacer–he was actually my pacing partner from last fall’s Metric Marathon–and he gave me the details on where/when to meet up.

So I showed up and that’s when I discovered that I was the only girl. I also discovered that I was not only surrounded by all males, but by a group made up mostly of triathletes. Now, I’ve been a triathlete, so I can say this: this is a group that makes runners look mellow. To me, this combo of triathletes and males only meant one thing: it was going to be a pissing match and I might just be the victim that gets shot off the back. Let me add that I forgot it was an unsupported run, brought no water, and had intentionally planned this to be a glycogen depletion run.

My plan was to just head out conservatively and see how things went. Immediately several guys shot off to the front. I stayed comfortable and chatted with the middle-of-the-packers. Around the half-way mark, I noticed something–guys were starting to drop off the pace. Before too long, I had made my way to the front and started running with the leading guy. I know who this guy is–he’s much faster than me. But his pace was reasonable enough, and I was feeling good enough that I was able to hang with him for the rest of the run. One other guy joined us and then we lost all the guys behind us. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that a bit…

So maybe me, who prides myself on being able to run conservatively when I should, got caught up in the pissing match myself? Nah, I’m a girl. We don’t do that, right?  ;  )


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  1. says

    I’m not sure that starting conservatively and working your way to the front – over half the run distance – is really getting involved in an “out-doing” match. And you’re pretty darn in touch with your body, so you certainly weren’t killing yourself (the way I’ve seen guys push themselves to the end of a training run like it’s the end of a race). So maybe it was a bit of a harder run, but I’d say your ego was mostly in check. Still feels dang good though, huh? :)
    Holly KN recently posted..Good Mornings for a Tuesday (April 9)My Profile

  2. says

    Haha, I love this! I’m glad your conservative start got you up to the front after all. :) The track group I run with Thursday nights has been consistently guys. Occasionally one or two women will come as well. But they do not let me pull ahead! One guy in particular is exactly my speed but if I start to pass him in a repeat, he pulls out his full sprint to ensure he stays ahead. Hmm, maybe there could be a blog post in this… :-)
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  3. says

    Ha ha ha, love it! I bet a few of those guys were wondering who the heck you were! It’s funny when guys don’t think girls are competitive. I am often the only girl in a group of guys, only because there tend to be more of them taking the trail run option. I enjoy their company just as much as with girls, but they had better watch out if they try to turn the run into a race!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Patriots’ DayMy Profile

  4. says

    I love running with the guys – the difference in conversation is so funny sometimes! Go you for just joining in! I’m running the Irongirl 5k here on Sunday – no half since I’ll do Divas at the end of the month – great events planning staff!
    Kat recently posted..Gluten-free recovery fuel Giveaway!My Profile

  5. says

    Hehe. I love this post and I love you even more after reading this =) Passing people during a race is a big confidence booster for me and even more so when it’s a guy. Picking people off often keeps my mind off of the pain and discomfort I am feeling – it gives me something else to focus on.
    So happy you not only “hung” with the boys but taught them a thing or two =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..I Miss RunningMy Profile

  6. says

    I prefer to run with women to, that’s because I’m slow and running with them might require me to push myself. ha ha. No actually i have had a couple of male running partners and loved it. You rocked it girl.

  7. says

    Have to agree with Kat. Running with the boys makes for some very interesting conversation! Completely different from the typical chatter you hear with all women. On the flip side, I know a few men in their late 50s and early 60s who are excellent runners and only train with women. They were sick of other guys turning every run into an all-out race and were suffering injuries from running too hard. Of course, that might just be a convenient excuse so they can train with some kick-ass women!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..That Deserves a Star – Link Round-upMy Profile

  8. says

    This totally made me smile! I’ve had runs like this. I’ve been that person on the front end who wants to go out fast to prove and point and then dies miles later in front of God and everyone AND the one who plays it safe and ends up in front later on.

    Shout out to your form in the picture! Lookin’ good!
    Coy recently posted..Babysitting My NervesMy Profile

  9. says

    I love this! When I was in high school on the tennis team (totally different sport I know), the coach had me play with the boys more than the other girls. Not that I claim to have been of the caliber of Venus Williams, but I needed more of the push the boys were doling out at the time compared to the girls that particular year. It did force me to step it up a bit! And now and then it really feels good to “beat the boys” :)
    Christina recently posted..Tapering, RRCA, mental workout mantrasMy Profile

  10. says

    Nice work “keeping up with the boys!” , I used to run with a really strong group of guys ( I still do once in a while, but I don’t live as close as I used to). It made me a strong runner, because no way in hell was I letting those guys beat me all those times. Learned to finish strong because I didn’t want them to be able to say they always beat me back to where we started!
    Laura recently posted..Changing the RoutineMy Profile

  11. says

    I love this! It’s so funny as I started reading, I felt a nervous pit in my stomach (which is how I would feel if I showed up to a run with all guys/triathletes), and then the pit in my stomach turned to a smile on my face when I heard how you rocked it!
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..Boston Here I ComeMy Profile

  12. says

    Haha! You go girl! I often see that guys try to pass me when I am looping around the lake. Its as if they hate being beat by a girl. If I pass them, they will try to catch up to me, hang behind me, or try to pass me… it’s pretty funny, especially since I could care less who is faster; I am just running at my normal pace!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Take Five: SnacksMy Profile

  13. says

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